Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st Match, Group B, Dubai
Date: September 15, 2018
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Sri Lanka has won 11 out of the 12 games the two teams have played so far in Asia Cup and will start as favourites.
Our Prediction: Sri Lanka will win this game
The wait is over and Asia Cup 2018 is all set to kick-start with Sri Lanka taking on Bangladesh in the first game of Asia Cup’s 14th Edition at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. This is incidentally the first encounter between the two sides after the infamous incident at the Nidahas T20 tri-series earlier this year when there was lot of bad blood between the two sides. Neither of the two sides would want to lose this game and would be eyeing a win to secure a place in the Super Four. Given the context of the game and the fact that are equally matched in their skills and talent it promises to be an exciting contest.
Mashrafe Mortaza led Bangladesh have made tremendous improvements in ODI cricket in the last couple of years. While they may have an abysmal record of having won just 4 out of 37 games in this tournament’s history they are no pushovers like they were in 2014 when the tournament was last played in the ODI format. They were finalist in 2016 the only occasion Asia Cup was played in T20 format. They are ranked 7th in the ICC Team Rankings above Sri Lanka and have a formidable line-up to take on any opposition. Mortaza will count on his strengths to defeat the Sri Lankans in the upcoming game.
Bangladesh has a formidable batting line-up with Tamim Iqbal at the top and is among the leading batsmen in the game today. Shakib Al Hasan, T Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque and Mahmudullah make up for a strong batting side. Playing in batting friendly wickets of Emirates they have the firepower to take on the Sri Lankan bowlers especially their spinners. In the bowling department the side has come a long way since yesteryears and in skipper Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman they have a great new ball attack. With Shakib leading the spin department with Mehidy Hasan in company the bowling attack looks strong going into the first game of the tournament.
This will perhaps be one of the weakest Sri Lankan sides to take part in Asia Cup in decades. They have had a bad run in the ODIs for the last two years where they have lost 29 out of 44 games they have played in this period. They have tried as many as seven captains during this period and Angelo Mathews would know that his side is short of confidence. What would encourage him though is his team’s record against Bangladesh in Asia Cup where they have lost only once in their previous 12 encounters and look to keep up with this impressive record in their upcoming game.
Batting wise the team has had some issues over the last two years but they would count on Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera and Mathews himself to take care of the batting. The side has got some good hitters and on the batting friendly conditions in Dubai they are a formidable force with the bat. In the bowling department the bowlers have done relatively well in the period when the batting has let the side down. Lot would rest on the shoulders of their star bowler Lasith Malinga and youngster Suranga Lakmal with the new ball. Akila Dananjaya and Thisara Perera who have performed well in the last two years would have to shoulder the responsibility to see their side through in the game.
The two sides would like to start their campaign on the right note but given the composition of the two sides we believe Sri Lanka is slightly ahead of Bangladesh and shall start as favourites to win this game.